Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Ischigualasto Provincial Park, also called Valle de la Luna ("Valley of the Moon" or "Moon Valley"), due to its otherworldly appearance, is a provincial protected area in the north-east of San Juan Province, north-western Argentina, limiting to the north with the Talampaya National Park, in La Rioja Province. Both areas belong to the same geological formation, the Ischigualasto Formation (sometimes Ischigualasto-Talampaya Formation) Established on 3 November 1971, the park has an area of 60,370 ha (603.7 km2; 233.1 sq mi) In 2000 UNESCO included Ischigualasto and Talampaya National Park among its World Heritage Sites.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,619 reviews
Excellent
1,148
Very good
385
Average
70
Poor
10
Terrible
6

Soraia
Rotterdam, The Netherlands1,028 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
Nice park but we were not completely overwhelmed. Not that expensive but you pay extra as a foreigner. Come with your own car so you can drive behind the guide. We had a guide that spoke a little bit English, so his effort was appreciated. We thought the tour was a bit to long. But the drive is absolutely beautiful.
Written April 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diego
Buenos Aires, Argentina978 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I visited Ischigualasto Provincial Park in August 2007 and loved it. I found it to be one of the best places I've seen in Argentina.
I had planned to visit it one afternoon and see Talampaya National Park the following day but as it was snowing heavily we had to visit both parks on the same day. We visited Talampaya in the morning and arrived at Ischigualasto at about 2:30 pm.
The entrance fee is AR$20 per person, but that was a resident fare so it might be more expensive for foreign tourists. You must enter the park with your own car so if you don't have one you'll need to rent one or go with a remis. The roads of the park are not paved but they are safe. The cars depart from the reception centre like in a caravan (there were more than 30 cars for the 3:00 pm excursion) and stop at 5 points: 1) el gusano (the worm) rock formation, 2) valle de la luna (Moon's valley), 3) cancha de bochas (a place with round-shaped rocks), 4) 'el submarino' (the submarine) rock formation and 5) 'el hongo' (the mushroom) rock formation.
I thought I'd like Talampaya more than Ischigualasto but I was wrong. I loved Ischigualasto very much. The place is so strange and beautiful. The rock formations, the colours of the mountains, everything was magical. A person told me it was better to visit the park in the afternoon and she was right. The colors were enhanced at sunset.
The whole excursion lasts about 3:30 hours including the visit to the museum. I don't know if the excursion is available in English. Maybe you' ll have to get there with your private guide to translate what the park ranger is saying.
Ischigualasto closes at 4:00 pm in winter and 5:00 pm in summer. I was there in winter and it was cold but not freezing. They say it's extremely hot in summer.
The park is far away from any urban centre so it would be better to leave the place before it gets dark. The best base of operations to visit the area is San Agustín del Valle Fértil, about 60 kilometres south. The road is paved but there are some goats around, so be careful.
All in all, both parks have some of the nicest landscapes in Argentina. They are right up with the Northwest in terms of natural beauty. In my opinion, they are as nice as the Humahuaca Gorge and much, much nicer than Rio de las Conchas's gorge in Cafayate. Don't miss San Juan & La Rioja provinces... they are beautiful places! Thanks for reading.
Written August 6, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

frogANDpepper
Dublin73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I am a backpacker, 37yrs old, 40+ countries visited, travelling with partner.

We took a tour wit Hostel Valle de la Luna / Ischigualasto

ORGANISING THE TOUR: 1/ in San Juan you can buy package with transport to the park and way back but its relatively pricy 2/ you can travel to San Agustín de Valle Fertil and book the transport/ tour from agencies of hostel Ischigualasto. If you book the tour with the hostel you might be offer cheap accommodation there.

COST of the tour from San Agustin: Normally the cost is 250peso pp. But expect to pay 800 or 1.000 for a drive if you are on your own (or per couple) in a low season without any tourists. We paid 250p pp (with 4 people in total) for transport (200km) and 110pp for the park entry with just 3 first stops and excluding last 2 most famous view points (due to flooded road), that also included entry for the museum (normally the price is 160 peso pp with overall 5 stops at the park).

TRANSPORT: We took a bus from San Juan to San Agustín for 96 peso pp. It leaves only 3 times a day at 7.30am, 2 pm,  7.15pm. In San Agustin we took the transport to the park from Hostel Ischigualasto for 250 pesos pp as we were lucky to have 2 tourists more. Otherwise if you are in low season without any other tourists it's possible for 800peso for a drive (ie 400 pp for a couple) with private drivers waiting in front of tourists office in San Agustin. In tourists agencies they charge 1.000 peso for transport from San Agustin for a couple or 4 people and they split price proportionally.
Note: The transport is to park entrance and also includes drive of 40 km loop around the park. You have to have to drive with a guide in the car or if there is no space the guide drives in front of you. In the park you are allowed to get off the car only at view points. At the third view point you are allowed to walk with a guide 400 m. The rest of the time is in the car.

WEATHER TIPS: Please make sure the park road is open before you take a tour. We arrived to the park and it appeared the half of he road is flooded and we cannot see 2 most remarkable places. We visited 3 first view points from about 4.30pm to 7pm (in November) and the view with the sun down was beautiful. It was pleasantly warm NOT hot. Other tour operators offer the tours in the morning as they are saying it's not so hot comparing to the afternoon but it's not necessary true and I don't think it's a good idea. Also our guide confirmed the late afternoon/ sunset is the best time.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Beautiful landscape, it's similar type of scenery to valle de la luna in Chile but it's different so I would highly recommend to visit this park but only when the weather is nice. I liked it very much despite not seeing last 2 viewpoints. The guide spoke English. The only downside was that we could not see the whole park, our guide was rushing us all the time which was annoying and museums was closed when we finished the tour and nobody cared about it.
Written November 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vennekilde
Buenos Aires, Argentina105 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Friends
My wife and I, and friends from Denmark were doing a road trip during the holidays in 2011 and we chose to visit Ischigualasto National Park. It was my 2. visit, and absolutely worth another visit.

Before you leave your accomodation to go to the area, or if you come directly from another area, make sure that your tank is full of gasoline.

Entrence: Like a lot of places here in Argentina there are different prices for locals and for foreigners - just accept thats the way it is.

Tour in park: A very knowledgeable guide is following the group of cars around the stops in the park, ca. 40 km. and lasting 2-3 hours. The tour is in spanish, but you can appreciate the sights anyway even if you dont understand the language.

Climate: It is in San Juan - and if you go there as I dont both times in summer, then be prepared of very hot temperatures: 35-45 C. Bring or buy on location a lot to drink, wear a sun block cream, hat and enjoy.

Stay over: Chose San Augustin Valle del Fertil, Hotel Rustica Cerro del Valle
Written January 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD9,100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
We departed our Hotel Vinos del Sol at 7:45AM, stopped for petro at Jachal, then arrived at this Provincial Park at 11AM. Due to extensive active construction, the entry fee(250Ap each) was waived and we entered without charge. After using the clean restrooms, we visited its Museum of Natural History, a circular walk of ~ 10 rooms of models/dioramas and information on the dinosaurs found in this park. We learned the herbivores were the oldest followed by the carnivores. One display featured the oldest predatory dinosaurs, the Eoraptor lunensis, an emu- sized bird with a sharp set of teeth and the vicious pack hunting instinct feared by all. We drove on to the Talampaya National Park before retracing to Route 40/150 and to our hotel in La Rioja, arriving at 4PM, a full day of nearly 400 miles over beautiful but lonely mountain scenery.
Written February 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RMartinSDXB
Buenos Aires, Argentina1,684 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
Ischigualasto National Park its in the border between San Juan and La Rioja in the Northwest of Argentina. Its one of the two Unesco World Heritage sites in the area and its a unique natural wonder. Its part of the same area and geological construction of the triassic (as its Talampaya as well). Its also well known as "The Moon Valley", because of its mysterious landscapes and legends around the area.

The national park allows you to enter the park with your own car after paying a fee of 100 Pesos (around 12 USD), but you need to be escorted by a guide and be in a some sort of caravan. There are 5 stops in the tour, looking at the different formations of rocks and valleys.

After traveling for so much time and never saw something similar which was something truly surprising. My recommendation is to go after lunch to this place but not to late to enjoy the views and the sunset. A true natural wonder.
Written May 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Plymouthtraveller8
Plymouth253 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
This park was about 1 hours drive from our aparthotel in Valle Fertil and it was well worth the time and effort to get there. You drive into the park in your own transport and in convoy with other visitors. One car must take the park guide and that privilege fell to us as the other 5 cars did not have any spare seats.
At the first stop our guide, who spoke good english, politely indicated that we were not driving fast enough for the tour to be completed within the designated time and he offererd to drive our car himself. We reluctantly agreed and as there are no surfaced roads in the park we experienced a tour that at times could have been a warm up for a motor rally. However the car survived the experience admirably and was only in need of a good car wash as some of the clay from the "road" managed to reach the roof of the car!
The "lunar landscape" is composed of clay and all the roads or tracks are made of battered clay. These tracks become impassable at times of rain and the day of our visit was the first day in that week that the park was opened to visitors.
The scenery is certainly impressive, the Argentines have a delightful habit of naming rock formations after various physical objects such as "a sleeping indian, the bowling green, the mushroom to name just 3 rock formations. A certain degree of imagination is required and it all adds to the overall experience!
This park has had more dinosaur finds per square mile than any other place on earth and in the small but very interesting museum close to the entry barrier there are skeletons of various dinosaurs that have been found in the park, or should I say, copies of skeletons as I understand the originals are in a museum at St Juan which we did not have time to visit. The driving tour which takes about 3 hours includes a visit to the on site museum come viewing gallery which has been built over 2 skeletons of donosaurs and which are being exposed little by little as an educational experience.
The cost of the tour (excluding the car wash) was 300 AR$ per person and is suitable for people with impaired movement provided they appreciate a pre rally warm up!
Written February 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bäbs
Buenos Aires, Argentina41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018
You shall find an orange stone submarine, a square mushroom and towering canyon walls during this tour where a guide leads visitors' car caravans on 2-3 hour driving/walking tour in a desert environment home to the world's treasure trove of dinosaur finds. Difficult to reach by public transport. There are apparently tour operators in San Agustín del Valle Fértil and Jáchal, offering excursions to "Valle de la Luna" (Nickname of Ischigualasto). Best to overnight in Villa Unión (few hotels, reserve ahead of time), if you want to combine your visit with Parque Nacional Talampaya nearby.
Written November 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Milonguero
North York, Canada34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
This park is very interesting. It is very large and the tour takes about three hours. All visitors line up in their vehicles and a park guide leads the pack in the first vehicle. The tour stops in various places where the guide explains the history of the park and what you are witnessing. One of the stops is in a museum where they show the work paleontologists do unearthing fossils. Very I treating tour. Don't miss it
Written March 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrquidLady
Chappaqua, NY33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
This place is totally worth visiting.
The entrance ticket for this place is insanely low.
It is the natural habitat of the first dinosaurs in the planet.
It's amazing to imagine all the dinosaurs living there.
The park is huge, and they take us through different places to see the special rock formations.
We loved it here.
Written January 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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